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An update from Evaneos

Antakya (Turkey)

Practical information about Antakya

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Mountain
  • Caves
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
1hr 30min flight from Istanbul
When to go
May through October
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Antakya

Clemence Zisswiller Travel writer
34 travel articles

Antakya is situated in the province of Hatay, on the border of Syria. This is a city with a long and rich history; you will not believe your ears when you listen to all the things you are told about it!

My suggestion:
The French embassy in Turkey regards the department of Hatay as "strictly inadvisable" (information on the official site). Read the notice carefully before deciding to embark on a potential trip to this territory.

When we speak of Antakya, you first think of Antalya! Perhaps it is a bit clearer to call this locality by its ancient name: Antioch. A city with a turbulent history dating back to ancient times, Antakya is a city of great diversity.

Capital of the Seleucid Empire and then a Roman city, Antioch was evangelised in the first century and became an important centre of Christianity. Moreover, it would have been home to Saint Simon and Saint Peter. After many invasions (Persian, Arab, etc.), Antioch passed into the hands of the Ottomans in 1517. Following the First World War, it was placed under French administration before being returned to Turkey in 1939. Therefore, I was not surprised to hear Turkish, French and Arabic being spoken or see Muslims, Christians and Jews living together in the same circle of houses.

Don't miss a visit to the archaeological museum, which has magnificent collections of sculptures and mosaics. If there is a museum that you should prioritise visiting during your stay in Turkey, this is it! For souvenirs, think about buying Daphne (laurel) soaps, which are very similar to Aleppo soaps. Finally, the seaside resort of Samandağ has a beautiful beach and an unobstructed view of the Syrian mountains.

Mosaic at the Antakya Archaeology Museum